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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

MARXIST   HISTORY

can do with its limited materials, even when bounded
by a nutshell,

^Whether we are studying the great transition from
tfie medieval religious civilisation to the modern secular
state, or we are examining the Industrial Revolution
which within the course of one century in particular did
so much to transform the conditions of human life,
whether we are tracing the growth of modern science
or the rise of modern democracy we should not nowadays
be satisfied to observe the surface-drama of events; we
should not be content to give a mere literary narrative
of personalities in conflict; above all we should not
generally make a picture of good men fighting bad men,
enlightened men fighting obscurantists, and feel that
our minds could rest if we merely left the matter there.
Subjects like these are to be envisaged within the frame-
work of much larger social processes; and the effect
of the analysis of these can be seen even when the
historian thinks that he is only narrating. Since Marx's
time historians indeed have been coming over more and
more to this basic point of view—sometimes in spite
of themselves, sometimes without confessing that the
influence of Marx had anything to do with the case,
sometimes, also, no doubt, without even realising that
any change was taking place.

The Marxists—though they cannot pretend that die
discovery was actually theirs—have taught the world
what many historians in fact have come to feel, namely,
that history does not proceed by a logical development, by
the kind of progress which may be presumed to take place,
every step in order, along a straight line. . Movement >

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